Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Apr 21;97:107701. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107701. Online ahead of print.
SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak which caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome, has rapidly spread over the world. The exact mechanism how this virus will affect the liver remained elusive. The aim of this study was to evaluate the liver function in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and potential causes of hepatic enzymes disease in these patients. Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings were collected from patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to the corona center in Erbil city/Kurdistan region of Iraq, from March 10 to July 10, 2020. Serum was collected from patients with COVID-19 and liver enzyme tests were measured. Liver alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin (TBIL) were analyzed in these patients. Of the 74 patients, 25 (34.7%) had abnormal ALT activity, 28 (40%) had abnormal AST activity, 12 (20.3%) had abnormal ALP activity, and 39 (52.7%) had abnormal total bilirubin P-value < 0.05. The inflammatory biomarkers CRP and IL-6 in COVID-19 patients with abnormal liver function test (4.9 ± 1.0 mg/dl) and (231.2 ± 35.7 pg/ml) respectively. The levels of both biomarkers were statistically significantly higher than COVID-19 patients with normal liver function test (2.1 ± 0.5 mg/dl) and (2.1 ± 0.5 mg/dl) respectively, P-value < 0.05. However, CRP and IL-6 were not statistically significant different between male and female COVID-19 patients P-value < 0.05. In conclusion, we found that most of the patients with SARS-CoV-2 have abnormal hepatic enzyme activities and that is might related to virus replication in the liver.